Entries Tagged as 'writing'
Last weekend I attended a great organization focusing on how to turn challenges into opportunities, held by Doğuş University. It was a conference full of precious speakers, many hands on activities and various surprises. I enjoyed every minute of it.
David Cyrstal’s Notes: David Cyrstal is an entertaining speaker, coloring his talk with demonstrations and movement. He started his talk with the question “How can you detect whether you are an internet addict” then, he offered his own criteria: “if you visit the bathroom in the middle of the night, does it occur to you to check your email on the way back to bed?” I think the answer is “No” for my case (just for now). It was also relieving to hear from him “internet addiction is ideal for the linguistic addict.”
Özge Karaoğlu’s Notes: I fell so happy to have such fruitful people like Özge in our field. She gave me very constructive ideas using the web securely and effectively. Here are some of them:
Delicious is a tool providing you to save, stack and share your favorite links and topics on the web.
Bloglines is an excellent site for you to find and track your favorite websites and blogs in real-time. This web tool allows you to follow the recent news and updates on the blogs or websites that you follow.
Cybaryman is a great online resource bank not only for teachers but also for students.
Linkedin is an e-portfolio, weblog, resume builder and social networking system connecting users and creating online communities.
Me on the web is my favourite tool among the others since you can manage your identity on the web. When you set up Google alerts, you get email from Google whenever your name, email or any search terms you specify are mentioned on the web.
Goqr.me is a tool enabling you to generate QR codes. Özge mentioned that we can give the answer keys to the students in the form of QR codes so that they can scan and read them.
George Pickering’s Notes: I think he is one of the exceptional people who could capture himself as a monkey and put his photo together with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.
He mainly mentioned about framing issue during his talk, the filters we use to view ourselves and the world. I strongly believe that zooming into the frames changes the vision of understanding of our students. Towards the end of his talk, he showed the sentence “Opportunityisnowhere” and asked us to read it. I was the one who read it as “Opportunity is now here.” Well, I think I am a little bit optimistic.
Michael Oneil’s Notes: At the beginning of the session, Michael shared a video of Bill Gates on creating great teachers. You can watch the video here. He explained how to improve teaching and learning establishing a taxonomy of successful teaching with 49 teaching techniques. He categorized this taxonomy into seven parts; Setting High Academic Expectations, Planning that ensures Academic Achievement, Structuring and Delivering Your Lessons, Engaging Students into Your Lessons, Creating a Strong Classroom Culture, Building and Maintaining High Behavioral Expectation and lastly Building Character and Trust.
Many of my friends were presenters at the conference including me (I will give more information about my workshop in my next post) On the first day, I attended a nice workshop given by my colleagues Merve Elbirlik Tülek and Emine Bülür Civanoğlu on “The Power of Images to Boost Learner Creativity and Motivation”. Many thanks for their practical ideas.
Paul Seligson’s Notes: I saw that he had so many things to teach me. I wish I could have regular sessions from him during the term. He mainly informed us how to facilitate the learner’s fluency with enjoyable and creative tasks such as fluency role cards, Mexican wave but the most interesting one was his suggestion on giving a short break to the activity in the middle of the lesson and asking the learners what they think at that moment.
I have learned such valuable things and met many precious friends at this conference. It was also so fun to follow the tweets on #DogusELT during the conference.
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Tags: CONFERENCES·teaching fun·Web 2.0 tools
Sometimes pictures/shapes/diagrams are more effective than words, so I’ve decided to bring together creative diagrams and shapes to make English Language Learning more fun and interesting. I also can’t deny the inspiration of Teaching Unplugged by Meddings & Thornbury (2009) to write this blog post. I’m sure the following activities will make your lessons more fun and more student-based.
First of all, draw the shape below on the board.
- Tell the students to draw these circles on a piece of paper and think about the things that they don’t like in each circle.
- Divide the class into pairs and tell them to interview with each other about their life circles.
- The activity is suitable to be adapted into writing. Instead of an interview, the students can write a paragraph about their life circles.
- It is also possible to change the topic and the names of each circle accordingly.
Draw a star shape on the board and write five senses around it.
- Tell the students to brainstorm some memorable events related to five senses such as a traffic accident or a moment of beautiful sunset with a special person.
Next, divide the class into groups and ask them to share their findings with each other.
A Square within the Other
Draw the following shape on the board and make groups of four.
- The group members write their similarities inside the square while writing the differences into the triangles. Each triangle belongs to a group member.
- Afterwards, the groups come together and compare their answers.
- Instead of asking students to write about themselves, you can also use this shape to compare anything (eg: cities, technology or films, etc…)
This is one of my favorite charts that I mostly use towards the end of the lesson. At first, tell the students to draw the chart below on their notebooks and summarize what they have learned in each activity during the lesson.
The students are expected to write a simple formula or an example showing the rule for the grammar section, new words and collocations for the vocabulary part, and lastly, decide on which type of skill (skimming, scanning, fluently speaking, etc…) they’ve practiced more.
Up and Down
The following diagram is quite suitable for several tasks.
One of them is to create fictional stories according to the up and downs of the chart. Divide the class into groups, and then give a starting sentence for the story. The groups create a story according to the up and down edges of the diagram.
- In another activity, tell the students to draw a similar diagram indicating their mood during the week. After they complete their drawings, divide the class into pairs and tell them to interview with each other asking questions related to what happened.
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Tags: charts·diagrams·ELT·teaching fun
At the end of the units and reading texts or at the beginning of writing activities; I always think that one of the most important things the students should do is mind mapping to be able to view the whole story from A to Z. Here, I’ve listed some mind map online tools that are totally free and easy to use in our classrooms throughout the year:
Dabbleboard is an enjoyable and free tool to use. The best side of the application is that you don’t need to sign up to create your mind maps. It consists of a white canvas allowing you to draw diagrams and jot down notes. Dabbleboard also includes a library of readily-available objects such as charts, mind maps, network diagrams, floor plans, photo annotation, interface designs, and electrical diagrams.
Bubbl.us is a very simple tool to use. It allows you to create a free account in seconds. You can create colorful mind maps with the help of user friendly interface. It is also possible to share the images via email or print them.
Mindomo is an online mindmap software where users can create, view and share mind maps in their browser. However, it only offers the basic services for free while charging for pro-features.
Text 2 MindMap is an online tool that offers to create mind maps with the help of texts. It accepts a structured list of words and sentences, then converts them into mind map. One of the best ways of the application is to be able to download the work without having to register.
Wisdomap is online mind mapping tool to get your ideas on a dashboard and then share them with students or colleagues. You can utilize additional images, videos, pictures, links and document files in this application.
Mind Mapping Tasks in the Classrooms
1. Assign the students to use these tools for the list of objectives of their work. This makes the projects more manageable.
2. Ask the students to make use of these tools to create a list of questions regarding a whole unit or a reading text.
3. You can show the roles and responsibilities of the students in any project clearly using these tools.
4. Assign the students to prepare flow charts or mind maps categorizing the vocabulary items including pictures.
5. Assign the students to summarize grammatical structures using mind map.
Happy mindmapping …
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Tags: mind mapping·Web 2.0 tools